When Obsession Becomes A Crime

Ever feel like you’re being watch? No, I’m not talking about the kind of watching that those in tin-foil hats and poor mental health talk about. I’m talking about the feeling of actually being watched by someone who isn’t a CIA agent, a lizard person, or an agent of the Illuminati.

This isn’t a spy movie or a conspiracy theory. This is an extension of the whole love vs. obsession discussion I began yesterday. When I started writing about this topic, I realized quickly that one post was not going to be enough. There are just so many aspects to this issue that it’s hard to capture everything necessary to convey the message I want to convey. Even this part will only convey part of that message.

When you break down the fine, but obscure line between love and obsession, you enter a strange part of human emotions that borders health and unhealthy attitudes. Love is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for your soul. There’s a good reason why those who marry and form stable, loving relationships live longer than those who don’t. In some sense, sexual healing is a real thing.

Obsession, on the other hand, is not going to increase your lifespan. It’s not going to help your social life either. Obsession at a certain level becomes a symptom of mental illness, be it crippling depression or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It’s hard to know where that level is, which is why it’s so hard to know the difference between love and obsession.

There is, however, one clear line that becomes painfully apparent once crossed. It’s a line that represents the endgame of sorts in the love vs. obsession conflict because it turns emotional upheaval into an actual crime. That crime, in this case, is stalking.

Unlike obsession, stalking is a crime and can be prosecuted as such. It takes obsession, dips it in napalm, and throws it into a furnace to create a perfect raging firestorm of emotional unrest. It’s the point where any and all potential for romance fades, becoming instead a case-study in what happens when emotions go haywire.

To make matters worse, the age of the internet and social media makes a stalker’s job so much easier. It’s no longer a matter of just asking the Yellow Pages to not list your address and phone number. If you have an internet presence of any kind, someone obsessed enough can exploit it. It’s scary as hell, but that’s the age we live in.

For most of us who don’t have a vindictive ex-lover, we don’t have to worry about being stalked most of the time. It’s not a passing concern, which is why the whole love vs. obsession conflict kind of flies over our head. For celebrities, though, the concern is real and so is the harm.

So in the interest of providing perspective in what happens when obsession goes too far, here’s a video by WatchMojo detailing some of the most disturbing cases of celebrity stalkers in recent memory. They don’t include cases where the stalker was intent on murder, as that kind of skews the issue. This is just about people who took their love and obsession too damn far.

I admit these cases are extremes. The people involved have serious mental issues and I’m not just talking about the eccentricities of the celebrities either. This is what happens when emotions go haywire and become so unhealthy that it leads to real harm. For an erotica/romance writer who wants to tell stories about healthy romance, it’s an important lesson to heed.

1 Comment

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights

One response to “When Obsession Becomes A Crime

  1. Pingback: Love Or Obsession: First Literary Edition | Jack Fisher's Official Publishing Blog

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